Are you ready to buy your first home?
Owning a home could be your dream but it is important that you are prepared financially and mentally for the responsibilities that come with home ownership. Homes come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Being well prepared for home ownership requires you to review your finances and your expectations.
Prospective home buyers should consider:
Are you prepared to buy?
It is important to remember that home ownership requires you to be prepared to maintain your home over the years and realize that part of your income will likely go towards repairs and maintenance. The costs to maintain a home can add up so therefore it is important to have money set aside, especially for emergency repairs that may arise.
What can you afford?
Forfeiting a large portion of your income to pay a mortgage can turn home ownership into a burden. It is better to buy a modest home and consider buying the home of your dreams in the future. The money saved could also be put towards some of the updates that you want, which may help increase the value of your home.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
Your debt-to-income ratio is highly considered by lenders to determine if you qualify for a mortgage and how big of a monthly payment you can manage. It is determined by dividing your monthly debt obligations by your gross income. Most lenders look for a score of 36% or less but there are some exceptions. Nonconventional mortgages such as FHA loans may consider ratios higher than those required for conventional mortgages. Ideally, you want to aim for the lowest ratio possible which will help your credit score and allow you to get a mortgage with a lower interest rate.
What kind of property do you want?
Do you want to do your own yardwork or would you rather have it done for you? Would you want to live in a neighborhood that has a home owners’ association with rules, restrictions, and an HOA fee? Considering these questions will help narrow down your property search to find the right home for you.
We Are Here to Help
Our real estate team is dedicated to bring you to a successful real estate closing by finding you the right home for the best deal possible. Our agents will work with you every step of the way and help guide you through the home buying process.
Keep your needs and wants in mind when touring homes. Having a list handy of the features that you need and want will help you judge each home. When you sit down with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of the homes and they can help you stay on track to reach your home buying goal.
Appoint a good real estate lawyer. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be complicated and a lawyer can help you guard against future legal troubles. We can recommend several lawyers in Waukesha County and the Oconomowoc area who might be a good fit for you. Hiring a good lawyer can be money worth spent.
Make an offer. Our agents will prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before presenting it to the other party. Keep in mind that real estate transactions can involve extensive negotiating. Your agent will negotiate on your behalf to help get you the home for a good price and favorable terms. Once an offer is accepted, typically earnest money is due within 5 days of the acceptance date.
Complete the necessary inspections. We can recommend home inspectors in the area who will check the home for things such as asbestos, lead paint, mold, evidence of pests, and faulty wiring and leaks. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars but it is highly recommended and a crucial part of purchasing a home. Once the inspection report is received, your agent will advise you on how to move forward depending on what comes back in the report.
Perform a final walkthrough before closing. We would be happy to do the final walkthrough with you to ensure that all the work agreed upon has been completed.
We understand that buying your first home can be intimidating. As practiced real estate agents, we are here to guide you through the complicated home buying process and help make the transaction go smoothly. Contact us anytime for more information about how we can help you find your first home.